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ICYMI: Congressional Letter to White House Cites Bush Institute Policy Work on North Korea

June 14, 2017 3 minute Read by Brittney Bain
Several Members of Congress sent a letter to the White House this week that cites the Bush Institute’s policy work on North Korea, specifically the “direct link between the North Korean government’s violations of the rights of its citizens and the regime’s threat to international peace.”

Several members of Congress, led by Rep Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), sent a letter to the White House this week that cites the Bush Institute’s policy work on North Korea. In part, the letter reads:

“We write to respectfully urge you to fully integrate the promotion of human rights into your Administration’s policy approach to North Korea…there is a direct link between the North Korean government’s violations of the rights of its citizens and the regime’s threat to international peace. As Victor Cha and Robert L. Gallucci observed in their January 2017 report for the George W. Bush Institute’s Human Freedom Initiative, entitled Toward a New Policy and Strategy for North Korea, ‘new data shows that revenues from North Korean human rights abuses’ – including the export of slave labor – ‘are suspected to be used to fund nuclear proliferation activities.’”

The reference is just the latest example of the Bush Institute’s ongoing work to gain traction and inspire action, particularly on improving the condition in North Korea.

By almost any measure, North Korea is the worst place on earth. More than 24 million people live in the northeast Asian country under the rule of Communist dictator Kim Jong-Un. They are subjected to widespread human rights violations, including executions, torture, and detention, and denied fundamental rights like free expression, association, assembly, and religion.

Since 2014, the Bush Institute Human Freedom team has convened unprecedented meetings with stakeholders in government and the private sector to help develop policy recommendations regarding North Korea. These meetings were informed by first-of-their-kind, Bush-Institute led studies of North Korean refugee resettlement and U.S. public opinion on North Korea.

Two Bush Institute policy papers recommend concrete steps the United States, the international community, and others can take to improve conditions in North Korea. Light Through the Darkness, a call-to-action report, defines a new approach for keeping the issue in the spotlight of international attention and improving the human condition of the North Korean people.

Toward a New Policy and Strategy for North Korea examines the links between North Korea’s human rights record and the threat it poses to international security and recommends a series of actions for the new U.S. administration and Congress to address those challenges.


Author

Brittney Bain
Brittney Bain

Brittney Bain serves as the Deputy Director, Communications for the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Prior to joining the Bush Center, she worked on Capitol Hill where she served most recently as deputy press secretary for the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary.  Bain interned in the White House Office of Communications during the George W. Bush Administration.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and her master’s degree from The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Full Bio

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